british columbia government

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The B.C. government has used carbon tax revenues as a slush fund to give money to favoured groups such as the B.C. film industry.

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Finance minister Mike de Jong recently issued a flurry of press releases touting the high credit rating of the BC government by various rating agencies. In one release he said: “The judgment of the rating agencies is an objective confirmation that by balancing our budget and keeping our debt affordable for British Columbians, our finances are on the right track.” Statements like these can mislead British Columbians about the actual state of BC’s finances, which may not be as rosy as the minister lets on.

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In 2011, most economic forecasters began the year rather optimistic. British Columbia had rebounded nicely from the 2009 recession and saw its economy grow at 3.0% in 2010, robust growth most forecasters thought would continue. Indeed, the BC government’s Economic Forecast Council, a group of private-sector economists, predicted growth of 2.7% in 2011 and 3.0% for 2012.